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Second-guessing the programming of the annual Tokyo International Film Festival is a favorite sport of movie types in Japan — I’ve been doing it myself for years.

One gripe has long been the over-representation of commercial films, especially in the Special Screenings section. Past editions of TIFF have often felt like a giant PR exercise for the local entertainment (not “film”) industry, as the Japanese media focuses on the local TV idols who typically populate such films.

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